My knees and back ache as if my family just pulled a 4-park day down at Disney (and my Fitbit is inclined to agree!), but here I am sitting at the computer instead of having a glass of Pinot Grigio and crawling into bed to watch tonight’s Scandal. Why? Because while I am moving as fast as an old, Italian Nonna now, I can’t help but tell you about my day and the 5 little things that made it amazing. So indulge me while you are hiding in the bathroom snacking on your “good” chocolates.
Little Thing #1
I am able to spend my entire day volunteering at school.
I spend a good amount of time volunteering at my kids’ school during a regular week, but today was a little over the top with field day, our running club celebration, our monthly teacher appreciation event, and the custodian appreciation presentation. Through all of my commitments I was at school from 8:30-4:30pm and I loved (almost) every minute.
Over the past 5 years our family has tried many different combinations of work/life balance. From retail, to the 9-5 grind, to freelance we have done it all. At this point in our lives my husband is working full time and I am taking on a freelance/contract jobs from home. This offers me tons of flexibility and that is what works. The arrangement allows me to challenge myself professionally, spend time at school, and save money on needing childcare after school and on breaks. For example, it is saving me around $600+ in “camps” over Spring Break which is fantastic and puts me one step closer to my new car.
Little Thing #2
I led dance parties.
Since my sno-cone station at field day (yeah…sno-cones in 47 degree weather) was right next to the boom box, I served my cherry red juiced cones with an elementary school level of booty shake. Once each class had received their sugar intake I danced with them making a fool of myself as I go!
The K-3 kids think I am super cool while 4-5 just laugh at me. I’m okay with that because I gave them something to laugh at. These kids have been loaded down with standardized tests and attitudes that I don’t mind being the butt of a joke in my wacky pattern’d LuLaRoe leggings. I hope that this will be something that they remember when they look back on field day.
Little Thing #3
Getting to know teachers and administrators.
While it is a little self serving to get to know the teachers and administration because I know they will feel comfortable coming to me if there are ever concerns with my children, I also just like getting to talk to new people! When I’m not volunteering I spend my time alone talking to my computer and singing along with my Pandora station of the day so it is wonderful to have someone to talk to.
These men and women have dedicated their lives to educating children which I think is pretty amazing. Taking a few minutes to say hello, ask how their day is going, and if I can do anything to help is the least I can do. I am the daughter of a teacher so I know how much these interactions are valued.
Little Thing #4
Being there for the kids who have parents that can’t be.
I am fully aware that I am lucky to be able to help out at school as much as I do. When I am there I do my best to spend time with children other than mine and their friends. During Running Club I got to know kids in all grades and it is wonderful. The kids felt comfortable asking me for help with things and offering hugs. I love being able to ask them about their day or favorite sports team and not have it be some awkward conversation. I really care and I hope that comes through to them. A quick compliment about their shirt or friendly joke is exactly what some kids need.
Little Thing #5
This special note.
When my daughter told me that she had a note for me in her backpack and that it was in an envelope I assumed it was something from the school…then she handed me this. My eyes instantly filled with tears. This little note from my middle baby was all I needed in the world.
This one little note is what made me realize that it is the little things in your day that have value. It is the little things that make the aches and pains of parenthood worth every second.
It will always be the little things.
Life is busy. Life is stressful. The little things will always make all of that melt away if you take a minute and let them.